Really? This is all it takes to stop global warming?

OK, this headline from MSNBC really set me off – G-8 agrees to cap on global temperatures.

The article begins, “The Group of Eight industrialized nations joined with developing countries in agreeing Wednesday that average global temperatures shouldn’t increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius in a significant new acknowledgement in the fight against global warming.” Really!

The hubris of people to think that all they have to do is vote and it shall be so is incredible. Do they really think that is all they have to do?

Global warming (or climate change as it is now known – in an obvious attempt to hedge against the globe cooling) comes down to four questions.

  1. Is the temperature of the earth rising?
  2. If it is rising, is that bad?
  3. If it is rising and it is bad, is human activity the cause?
  4. If it is rising, and it is bad, and human activity is the cause, can we do anything to stop it and at what cost?

The answers are: Probably, maybe, no one really knows, and a lot.

I would say that there is some consensus among scientists that the mean temperature of the Earth is rising, but and this is a big but, is that bad? It might be, but it might not be. Far more people, about ten times, die of exposure to cold than to heat. Warming a little would reduce the death tolls.

Despite what you hear in the media, while there in consensus on warming, there is very little to no consensus that it is attributable to human activity. It is all conjecture, there is no scientific proof.

What there is proof is that the costs would be astronomical both in terms of real dollars and in terms of keeping developing countries from emerging out of poverty.

If you are really interesting in reading the Inconvenient Truth spend some time at the Cato Institute’s page devoted to the topic.

4 thoughts on “Really? This is all it takes to stop global warming?

  1. I once heard a comment that people’s beliefs and humor only go as far as their idiology. We see what we want to see and believe what fits the categories we like.

  2. Ed, Ed, Ed …

    You and I agree on a lot but this article leaves me very conflicted. I agree with the main premise that the hubris of man is a bottomless well but …

    I’m just going to call out this quote

    “Far more people, about ten times, die of exposure to cold than to heat. Warming a little would reduce the death tolls.”

    This is a very ill-informed statement. The problem isn’t that we will all be sitting around in shorts instead of long pants in the winter.

    Even a small additional rise in termperatures will create a fresh water shortage and livable land shortage as ice turns to water (salt water). There will be war, disasters and destruction of biblical proporations.

    Think dogs and cats living together kind of stuff.

    No point in debating it. No one wants to take the time to really understand it.

    I myself consider myself a recovering environmentalist and now find myself squarely in the “who gives a sh!t” camp. No one cares.

    The ill-informed want to stay that way and the folks that could do something would rather debate the cause of the problem rather than true solutions. You even bring it up in your article.

    When the house is burning, it’s not the time to be discussing what caused the fire.

    And to discuss the costs of creating a survival plan? Yeesh. I don’t know how to start. What is my son’s future worth to me? What are your children’s future worth to you?

    It’s a value discussion – not a cost discussion.

    Ah well …

  3. Peter, Peter, Peter…

    “Even a small additional rise in termperatures will create a fresh water shortage and livable land shortage as ice turns to water (salt water). There will be war, disasters and destruction of biblical proportions.”

    Define small? Define the time period?

    Your assumption is also that technology will no be invented to deal with this problem. Desalination technologies have not been developed because, quite frankly, it is not that big a problem. If it gradually becomes a bigger problem, more brain power will be devoted to it.

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